Two killed, 40 injured in Kashmir protests Friday (Roundup)

September 12th, 2008 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Srinagar, Sep 12 (IANS) Two people were killed and more than 40 injured as protesters clashed with security forces after Friday prayers in separate incidents in the Kashmir Valley.Authorities imposed curfew in the south Kashmir town of Shopian and clamped prohibitory orders in the north Kashmir town of Baramulla where violent protests erupted following the prayers.

Security forces opened fire to disperse a mob in Shopian, 56 km from here.

“After people came out of the mosque in Shopian, they resorted to heavy stone pelting and violence against the security forces,” a police official said here.

“The security forces had to open fire after baton charge and tear smoke shells failed to disperse them. One person was killed on the spot and 12 others were wounded in this incident. One of the injured is in critical condition,” he said.

The mob also ransacked and partially torched the office of the district magistrate in Shopian town.

In Baramulla, 54 km from here, a tear gas shell hit a youth after hundreds of protesters hurled stones at the police and the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in the old town area. The young man succumbed to his injuries.

“Over two dozen people, including 10 security men, were injured in this incident,” another police officer told IANS.

Protests also turned violent in the old city Nowhatta area of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, when stone pelting mobs attacked the police and CRPF.

Around a dozen people were wounded in the clashes in Nowhatta.

“The situation was brought under control with batons and tear smoke shells but nobody sustained any serious injuries in Nowhatta,” an officer said.

Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik sustained a leg injury during clashes with security forces.

He was leading around 4,000 protesters during a sit-in at the city centre Lal Chowk after the Friday prayers. Malik was shifted to a hospital where doctors said he was out of danger.

Reports of peaceful protests after Friday prayers also came in from south Kashmir’s Anantnag and Kulgam towns and north Kashmir’s Ganderbal district where protesters shouted pro-freedom slogans.

The joint co-ordination committee of the separatist Hurriyat groups had asked people to hold peaceful protests throughout the valley after Friday prayers and observe a valley-wide shutdown after 12.30 p.m.

In his weekly Friday sermon at the historic Jamia mosque in old city area here Friday, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, chairman of the moderate Hurriyat group, asked Kashmiris to boycott the assembly elections due in October-November.

Mirwaiz Umer also threatened a “jail bharo” campaign if the police summons against those who took part in separatist rallies and marches were not withdrawn.

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